Feature Friday: Vigilante Part 5

a Feature Friday post

a Project 1983 post

Covering Vigilante issues 7-11.

To recap:

In issue 7, the origin of the Vigilante continues. He is brought through the desert. A mysterious woman acts as his guide with promises of strength at the end of this ordeal. Little does Adrian Chase know that this is just the beginning. What he now finds impossible will soon be the easiest thing asked of him. Chase is led into a secret council where he is informed that he has been chosen. Chosen by the members to provide justice for those who have been done wrong by the technicalities of society. He gains strength, speed, fighting abilities, and rapid healing powers. At the end of his training it is revealed that all of this was an illusion. Long dead restless spirits have selected Chase to do what they failed doing. Protect those that the law failed.

Issues 8 and 9 feature the Electrocutioner. He has a power to channel electrical chargers through his hands. He uses this to execute criminals who have gotten away. The Vigilante is at odds with him and… why? Chase doesn’t approve of these methods but it’s really not that much different. While the Vigilante tells himself he only kills in self defense, there’s still a good amount of bodies in the past. Vigilante tries to hold a moral code over Electrocutioner much like Robin held over Chase.

Two subplots culminate leading into the 10th and 11th issues. Vigilante’s tech expert JJ offers to do some investigating on his own while Chase is busy with the Electrocutioner. Be careful. Don’t get in too deep. Literal famous last words. JJ is murdered during his search and Chase finds out when the local news reports on his body pulled from the river.

Meanwhile, Chase is constantly distracted. Not only by his DA girlfriend, but also by a job offer. There’s a bench opening and while Adrian hasn’t practiced law in awhile his previous accomplishments put him high on a short list to be the newest judge.

The Vigilante roughs up a succession of thugs to find out who is behind JJ’s murder. This leads him back to the Controller. The villain from the previous issues who is trying to get the mob under his control. Chase barely survives the confrontation inside Controller’s gimmicked estate. Only one of them gets away. While recuperating from his injuries, Chase accepts the offer to preside over court.

Unfortunately, this is where the graphic novel ends. There are many more issues of the comic, most importantly the ones that change the course of the story, and they are not collected anywhere. No volume 2 of the graphic novel. I have some dollar bin digging coming up.

As I wait to buy, read, and review the next batch of issues for next week I’m struck by how calm this story appears so far. I know tragedy is coming. I know this story gets dark. But at the end of issue 11, he has defeated the bad guy, avenged his friend’s death, got a new job, and has the girl. Everything looks perfect.

Except his friend isn’t coming back, there are multiple assassins from previous issues still on the loose, his girlfriend is not being honest about her work. Plus even if he never dons the costume again, his time as Vigilante would destroy his new position. One or all of these things is going to bubble up to take away one if not many if not all positives in his life. The only way to ensure this doesn’t happen is eliminate anyone who could hurt him. I see Chase justifying many things in the near future. All of which will contribute to his own decline.

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